Research group Brunk
Main interests of our group are the functions of the Goa splice variants Go1alpha and Go2alpha in brain and the regulation of vesicular neurotransmitter transporters, especially VMAT2, by heterotrimeric G-proteins. Mechanisms underlying this regulation were identified by our group. Its physiological relevance was proven for the monoaminergic system. Furthermore we could show influence of Go2alpha on axonal growth.
You are here:
The efficacy of synaptic transmission shows short- and long-term variability. One factor which is assumed to contribute to the variability of transmission is the amount of neurotransmitter in synaptic vesicles. The filling of synaptic vesicles are performed by vesicular neurotransmitter transporters, such as the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2) in monoaminergic terminals. The activity of vesicular neurotransmitter transporters is in turn regulated by vesicle-associated heterotrimeric G-proteins. VMAT2 is controlled by the a-subunit of the heterotrimeric G-protein Go2 and the transporter appears to act like a G-protein coupled receptor. In fact, deletion of Go2alpha results in an imbalance of the dopaminergic system. Moreover, studies on Go1alpha deletion mutants indicate that Go2alpha and Go1alpha complementarily affect the monoaminergic system. This suggestion is further supported by the identification of interaction partners of constitutively active Go2alpha. Many of them also interact with Go1alpha in its active or inactive state.
Knowledge of human anatomy of medical students at German universities
Knowledge of human anatomy of medical students at German universities is discussed controversially. Especially members of surgical disciplines criticize substantial deficits. In cooperation with the group 'Progress Test Medizin', Dieter Scheffner Fachzentrum Charité, knowledge of anatomy was assessed and deficits were confirmed using the students' results from progress testing. The evaluation further revealed that the most difficult aspect (for the students) was the application of their theoretical knowledge in a clinical setting.
Our current investigations aim at revealing possible reasons for the deficits in the students' knowledge of human anatomy. To achieve this goal we are also analysing differences between the various curricula here at the Charité.
BR 3937/1-3 Functional characterisation between the vesicular monoamine transporter 2 (VMAT2), the monoaminergic system and the heterotrimeric G proteins Go1 and Go2